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Note: Wayland can be used but may be less stable and Gnome may still require Xorg

Installing packages

Install basic desktop system and gnome packages.

# apk add gnome

If you want, you can install additional GNOME apps for a more complete GNOME experience with:

# apk add gnome-apps-core

And further extra GNOME apps with

# apk add gnome-apps-extra

Graphical login

To start the GDM display manager and login with your user, you need a user other than root for this to succeed. GDM will refuse to start if no user accounts (accounts with a UID >= 1000) are available.

rc-service gdm start

Once you have verified correct operation, you can make GDM start at boot:

rc-update add gdm

Enabling terminal apps

If you want to use the gnome-terminal/other terminal applications you will need to install bash. If you want a typical bash setup also enable bash completion:

# apk add bash

# apk add bash-completion


If GDM does not start with no logs generated at /var/log/gdm, try installing udev:

apk add udev && rc-update add udev

If you are unable to log in, check /var/log/gdm/greeter.log, there may be info there from X that indicates failed modules, etc.

If logging in from GDM kicks you back to the login screen, try

# apk add bash

(bug report: #10953 sorry cannot link yet)

If GNOME Terminal doesn't start, add the following to /etc/locale.conf: LANG=en_US.UTF-8 and reboot.

If the on-screen keyboard shows up in GDM after installing other UIs such as Phosh, you need to disable it by opening the Accessibility menu (top right) when you are in the GDM login screen. You can disable the on-screen keyboard there. Or set org.gnome.desktop.a11y.applications screen-keyboard-enabled to false for the gdm user with dconf